What You Need For A New Baby

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Finding out that you’re expecting comes with a whirl of emotions, and on top of all that, there are many things you will need to have in place when the baby arrives. With all the cute infant gear and accessories out there, parents-to-be can go overboard when buying baby gear, furniture, and accessories. But it’s entirely possible to get the things your baby needs without spending a fortune.


Most parents go out to purchase a traditional crib, although that isn’t the only option. For the first three or four months of life, a baby can comfortably sleep in a bassinet. Bassinets are lightweight, compact, and easy to wheel from room to room. Bassinets are also at approximately the height of your waist so there is not as much bending and stooping to pick up your baby.

If you are tight on space or you want extra mobility, a bassinet might be an option for you. Not to mention the fact that many new parents prefer to sleep close to their newborns for the first few weeks or months.

If you have the space, go for a full-size crib (see our guide to furnishing your nursery for some tips).

Car seats

Though most baby products are alright to buy used, you’ll always want to look for a new car seat. Any car seat older than five years old or that has ever been in an accident should not be used. Many manufacturers such as Graco and Evenflo sell car seats as part of a three-part “travel system,” in which a matching stroller, infant seat, and base for the seat to be strapped in the car are all sold together.

This is very nice for parents because a sleeping baby can remain in the seat while it is removed from the car and put into the stroller. A travel system can be pricey (around $200), but the hassle and time that it saves is worth the price to most parents.  Some stroller brands also offer car seat converter bars that accommodate the most popular car seat models, so make sure to ask.


Strolling with your baby exposes him/her to new sights and sounds, calms down frazzled parents, and gives moms an easy way to exercise with a newborn in the house. Most traditional strollers have large storage baskets underneath to hold a diaper bag or other items. Umbrella strollers fold up into a very lightweight, compact cylinder. They are generally under $30 to purchase new. They are nice to carry in the trunk of the car or to take on trips because of their portability, but they really can’t be used until your baby can sit up reasonably well on his or her own. Jogging strollers generally have three wheels, and they do not fold up as compactly as the umbrella strollers. These strollers are good for the avid jogger, but probably should be purchased in addition to a regular stroller.

High chairs

High chairs make feeding convenient and allow  infants to be a part of the action at the dinner table. Make sure your high chair is stable, with a wide base and a low center of gravity. You’ll also want a sturdy set of belts to keep your baby in place – look for a five-point harness with shoulder straps. If you want mobility, wheels are available on many chair models, but make sure there are locks to keep the chair from rolling when you don’t want it to. If you want the chair for long term, buy a chair with an adjustable height so you can use it at multiple tables. Other optional high chair features include cushions and removable trays.

If you’re short on storage space, this is one purchase you can delay for a little while, as most infants don’t start eating solid foods until 5 or 6 months.

Baby clothing

We’re all familiar with the hooded towels, christening gowns, baby socks and many styles of snap-up jumpsuits. The colors and styles vary as much as adult clothing does. Whether frilly dresses or baseball outfits for the little sluggers, you’re sure to find any style you desire with a few clicks on the keyboard. Some of the reliable brands for baby clothes include Carter’s and Little Me. Baby girls will look great in sundresses and leggings, and fur trimmed winter coats. For boys, there are tiny pairs of name-brand jeans, hoodie sweatshirts, and sneakers.

Diaper bag

Again, the options are varied in style and price. Diaper bags come in cotton fabrics, nylon, and even leather styles that you’d never recognize as a diaper bag. Choose from multi-compartment bags or more simple bags that let you organize them how you see fit. Some bags look like backpacks and are easier on the back, while others come with multiple attachments like a pacifier pocket and a changing pad. Gingham, camouflage, florals and quilted geometrics are just some patterns for fabrics.


All parents want to see their child do well. Toys that inspire curiosity and development of baby’s senses are great choices for every age. For newborns, consider a mobile. They catch an infant’s eyes and move with motion that may even help lull him/her to sleep.

Rattles and teether sets keep infants interested as they learn to play. Vibrant colors help with communication and motor skills, and teethers provide some relief as baby teeth make their way through sore gums.

Safety gates

For crawling babies, you may want to consider any of the many types of gates to keep your baby safe.  There are wooden panels that cost less than $20 or those with many sections that provide multiple options for configuration that may run several hundred dollars. Depending on the layout of your home and the age of your baby, you can decide what’s right for you at the given time.

So, you’ve got nine months to make your lists and pick out the best items for you. Certainly having a baby takes patience and understanding, but the rewards are worth the sleep you’ll miss. Thanks to modern products, keeping your baby safe and happy is easier than ever before!

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